The United Nations recently announced a ‘code red for humanity’, in a report on climate change which it said has been worsened by human activities. Presently, experts are urging the federal government to take urgent steps towards tackling this global issue.
Droughts and floods faced in Nigeria is all part of this scourge and could get worse if nothing is done.
Professor of Environmental Engineering, Hilary Inyang told me the federal government should, as a matter of urgency, assemble scientists to form a strategy, develop an environment report manual for Nigeria and conduct vulnerability studies in order to address this crisis.
Inyang, referring to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report “code red for humanity” says that the country is using only 3 per cent of its intellectual capacity to address climate change. He, however, added that Nigeria, like other developing nations contribute only a faction to global warming.
The professor explains that countries are involved at technical and policy levels as regards climate change and this involves two approaches, namely: mitigation, which prevents further global climate change and adaptation which acknowledges the after effects.
“Developing countries tend to deal with adaptation because they are primarily not the ones responsible for the global warming, they are only responsible for a minor faction. It is developed countries that burn carbon, they have done that for two centuries now. “
He suggests Africa focus on adaptation, while technologically advanced developed countries should deal with primary sources.
On way forward, Inyang urges government to have an annual environment report of Nigeria, assemble scientists to form a strategy and conduct research on vulnerability potential in various parts of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Dean, Faculty of Environmental Science, Nasarawa State University, Prof Nasiru Idris, says though Nigeria contributes less to global warming, the nation must prioritise climate issues. He admits the country has brilliant policy documents but lacks implementation which has hindered progress.
“What I’ll suggest for the federal government is, we currently have a Climate Change Bill that has been advocated by the FMoE at the Senate. If passed, all the MDAs will key into it.
“Therefore, it is very important for government to factor in issues of climate change in our budget.”
Idris notes that Nigeria is the best in policy making but lacks implementation, advising that massive planting of trees is one way to combat climate change.
He wondered if the Federal Ministry of Environment understood what climate change was all about and if it’s taking it to global level.
When contacted, the director of Press at the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mohammed El Saghir said he was not aware of any such report on climate change.